Bill Pedneault (left), Richard Green, Dave Saunders, Wally Vowels and Mike Hicks at the site of the new salmom hatchery site at Charters River. Clearing began at the site on Thursday. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Land clearing begins for new salmon hatchery in Sooke

Construction of facility expected to begin next spring

The clearing of land that will allow for construction of a new salmon hatchery along the Charters River began Thursday.

A crew from Dave Saunders Enterprises was on site at Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre on Sooke River Road clearing trees and shrubs for the 5,000-square-foot facility.

The Juan de Fuca Salmon Society and Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society announced plans to build the hatchery last September. The new hatchery will see the closure of the Jack Brooks Hatchery on DeMamiel Creek.

RELATED: $1 million salmon hatchery eyed for Sooke

The Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society operated the Jack Brooks Hatchery for more than 40 years, but in recent years dwindling water supplies has made it more difficult to harvest the fish for brood stock.

The Jack Brooks Hatchery has a licence to raise 500,000 springs and 150,000 coho fry every year. A free pen operation also raises upward of 80,000 chinook salmon annually. The Capital Regional District has agreed to increase the Sooke reservoir water supply to the new hatchery, with the hopes of taking the salmon run from 500 to 5,000.

“The clearing of land is the first phase of this exciting project, which is right on track and moving forward,” said Mike Hicks, a spokesman for the hatchery group.

READ MORE: ‘Street-proof fish’ have better chance of survival, says researcher

Most of the work for the $1-million project is donated and so far many local businesses have stepped forward, said Hicks, including Dave Saunders Enterprises, Hallgren & Faulkner Lawyers, West Coast Design, District of Sooke, Port Renfrew Marina, Capital Regional District, Arden’s Self Storage, Alpine Enterprises, Butler Brothers, Ian Laing, Elida Peers, Wally Vowels and Bill Pedneault.

“I’m not surprised by the community effort,” Hicks said. “I’m hoping to attract other players now that people see we’re actually doing it.”

The clearing of the land is expected to be completed in a week, and Hicks hopes to have the building slab built by March 1, with construction completed by September – in time for the return of the salmon next fall.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Fire destroys South Island Concrete building in Sooke

No injuries resulted from large structure fire

Head-on collision on Prospect Lake Road shuts down road

The Saanich Police Department is investigating

OUR VIEW: Search and rescue organization needs to be examined

No organization should be immune to scrutiny

Over 100 take the Vancouver Island polar plunge

More than $25,000 raised for BC Special Olympics athletes

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

Most Read